| 23 May 2022
Goan tourism minister talks about music, festivals, culture & more

MUMBAI: The EDM festivals held in Goa attract tourists from all over the world. From one EDM, it has now increased to two and both receive thousands  of tourists, local Goans and music fans. While data is being compiled, it is a fact that this year too there was a huge surge in tourist footfalls for the EDM festivals namely Sunburn and VH1 Supersonic. The occupancy level in the Hotels were full during the season. Preliminary reports are this year Goa had the highest number of tourist arrivals between 27 to 30 Dec 2015 when  both the EDMs were  held in the State.

The tourism minister of Goa, Dilip Parulekar, spoke exclusively to radiaondmusic.comabout aspects that make Goa an ideal state for music and festivals. 

What is the area where most of the revenue is generated because of tourists?

Tourism plays a vital role in the growth of an economy. Goa being a tourist destination generates revenue for the state through various tourism related businesses. Hotel industry is one major market with a large number of 4 & 5-star hotels  in the state. Along with these, home stays and guest houses are also an important medium of revenue generation during the peak season.Restaurants and shacks owners, water sports and adventure tourism are all beneficiaries for the tourism industry.

The number of molesting cases and drug distribution has increased considering that Goa is now as a safe city, What measures are being taken to keep the crime rates in control?

"Goa is an extremely safe  holiday  destination. All through the  year,  measures  are  taken to  ensure  safety and security of tourists and  the  safety and security  measures  are   increased  during the  peak  season. Goa Tourism makes sure to keep the state safe especially for Women travellers. With the launch of special women taxi service, it is now extremely fearless to travel during late hours of the day. Goa  also  assures   special  safety and security measures  for  women  tourists.  We  have the  women  taxi  service, women  lifeguards  and  women  constables.  It must  also  be  recalled  that  National  Geographic has listed  Goa  in 2015  as  one  of the  top 10  best  cities   for  nightlife. This  again  indicates  that  Goa is a  safe  destination  even for  its  nightlife."

There are many music festivals which happen is Goa. International and Indian artists perform every year in the state, but somewhere Goan folk music, culture is being hampered. Are any initiatives taken to get it back in the limelight?

"Goa’s art and culture is rich and vibrant. In fact, this is one of the greatest strengths for Goa Tourism which showcases and promote this to the world through events and festivals held all year round. While tourists come to Goa to attend music festivals, an even larger segment come to Goa to witness and experience this rich Goa cultural heritage. While Goan artists are innovating and there is some fusion

between East and West, there is no dilution of Goan culture. Local    artists also attend music festivals in Goa but have in no way allowed  it to disintegrate Goan culture. Goa Tourism organizes events all year  round where Goan folklore is given centre stage and throng to such  events in large numbers."

The Carnival, Shigmo, Sao Joao, Bonderam, Chikalkalo, Sangodd etc are unique and worth experiencing. These festivals depict the culture and heritage of Goa. The Grape Escapade, Goa Food  and Cultural   Festival, Cashew  and  Coconut  festival   are  some  of the other  platforms  where  Goan  culture   is  brought to the  fore.

What support are you getting from National Tourism Department India? 

"The National Tourism Department India is extremely supportive. They update us on latest tourism activities and also give us a platform to participate in the India Tourism activities."

And there any international collaboration with International countries?

"Yes. We do participate in many trade shows and exhibitions annually to showcase our products and services across the globe.

Keen on improving the quality and standard of floats at the Goa Carnival this year, GTDC through a project sponsored by the European Commission will give a big  boost to Carnival floats 2016. GTDC along with its association with European Commission has  decided to provide  grant of financial assistance upto Rs 1 lakh each to at least 20 floats. The tourism ministry in Goa is working round the clock to position Goa  Carnival as a Premiere State tourism event and is working on this  project  in association with Brouhaha International an arts organization based in Liverpool United, Kingdom. The project is entitled Destination Carnival which is aimed at exchange  of  ideas and talents across three countries namely UK, South Africa and Goa India."

Many states have taken brand ambassadors for the state. For Example; like Amitabh Bachchan whereas Goa does not have a face tourism. Who is the face now?

"Goa’s beauty itself is the brand. It is an endeavor of the department to make every stakeholder the Brand Ambassador."

What are the future plans in terms of music festivals? What are the number we are looking at next year? 

"The two most famous EDM festivals will continue in the state annually. Goa is a niche market and has been a hot spot for its annual festivals and events. The events happening annually in Goa will continue.

Many new activities and events will also be unveiled during the year."